NASA puts into operation its most powerful supercomputer: this is how it is composed
If we think who should have the most powerful computer in the world, many of us are going to say that it is NASA that should have that equipment and it is not in vain, since the space agency requires the most advanced equipment to perform its space calculations.
However, the most important space agency in the world had the same super team called HPC that it implemented in 2008. Now 14 years later, after having the help of Intel and AMD, its new machine, called Aitken.
Despite the fact that in 2019 they already released the first information about this super machine, it is now that NASA has revealed the start-up of this equipment for its operations.
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This equipment is located at NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Facility (NAS) at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, where Aitken is housed in the energy-efficient Modular Supercomputing Facility (MSF).
To carry out current and future missions, NASA renewed an essential part of its ground operating equipment, including Aitken, which will provide support for the plans to set foot on the Moon and Mars.
The Aitken supercomputer contains twelve HPE Apollo 9000 racks providing 2,048 AMD EPYC 7742 “Rome” nodes, with 128 cores per node, and four HPE E-Cells providing 1,152 Intel “Cascade Lake” nodes, with 40 cores per node.
Aitken is in the first module of NASA’s Modular Supercomputing Facility (MSF).
Over the next two years, NASA will install a second compute module and a new data module at MSF. The data module will provide file systems that are independent of existing file storage on the NAS installation. This will allow maintenance to be performed independently at the NAS facilities and at MSF, while keeping the other systems up and running so scientists and engineers can continue to run their simulations without interruption, the space agency says.
The MSF site is expected to support up to 16 modules for computing and data systems.
“This considerable improvement – a 16% increase in performance since its previous expansion and a 49% increase since last year, when the system was ranked #72 on the June 2021 Top500 list – translates to solving bigger problems with faster results for important NASA research projects in aeronautics, space exploration, Earth science and astrophysics,” said Michelle Moyer of NASA Ames Research Center.